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Malta to become digital identity test-market

An event by EntrepreneurCountry Global gathered one hundred attendees from the Maltese business community for a thought-provoking roundtable on Digital Identity Management at the Malta Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon. One proposal raised was that if a Digital Identity Management law-package was adopted, Malta could become a suitable test-market for its wider application.

EntrepreneurCountry Global, a subsidiary of Ariadne Capital and the brainchild of the investor Julie Meyer, invited the Maltese business community to an engaging roundtable session on Digital Identity Management on Tuesday afternoon at the Malta Stock Exchange in Valletta. Digital Identity Management (DIM) is about finding solutions to digitise identity management and create functional systems for verification of identities across borders without the use of traditional identity documents.

Speakers included serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Orange PLC, Andreas Wil Gerdes; serial entrepreneur and fintech expert Dr Abdalla Kablan; Nathan Kinch, Head of Experience and Labs at Meeco; John Abbott, Director of UK Business Growth & Partnerships at Yoti; Amit Pau, Managing Director of Ariadne Capital; Steve Tendon, Senior Executive Management Consultant, adviser, speaker and author; and Christian Cardona, Minister of the Economy, Investment and Small Business.

The event was part of Ariadne Capital’s search for the best digital enablers to invest in, and was attended by several DIM influencers, the media, government officials and entrepreneurs. EntrepreneurCountry Global aims to aggregate and shape solutions for DIM by promoting entrepreneur led new models, introduction of technology enablers, shared economy approaches with self-policing loops, and by test-piloting new solutions.

The event was kicked off by a welcome speech by Julie Meyer, CEO of Ariadne Capital and EntrepreneurCountry Global. She stressed the importance of entrepreneurs becoming leaders in society by optimising their business models not only for personal gain but for the system level wins by creating solutions that benefit society at large. Prior to the event, the attendees were asked to fill out an online questionnaire of EntrepreneurCountry. Attendees were asked whether people should be able to own their own data. The results indicated that only one person objected to the statement while everyone else agreed. Likewise, when asked whether government should be entrusted to control people’s data, most of the respondents answered no.

Minister Cardona, invited as a keynote speaker for the Maltese government, emphasised the significance of data by stating that it is the new oil, which makes it necessary that all governments start to think about data legislation. Julie Meyer, in response to the former, suggested that a DIM-law package should be adopted, in which Malta could act as a test-market for the wider application of these systems.

The wider impact of data was exemplified during the roundtable by showcasing a study which concluded that 70 Facebook likes were enough for an anonymous spectator to know more about a person than that person’s friends. At 150 likes, it was enough to outdo that person’s parents, and at 300 likes, even the partner.

The discussion developed enthusiastically during the afternoon and many standpoints regarding data, Know-Your-Customer procedures and transparency were debated among panellists and attendees.

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